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HP nabs EMC storage exec as ESS chief

HP named a new top executive to its Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking group this week, a new hire leading HP's business server group after he left EMC following mandatory pay cuts there in March.

David Donatelli takes the executive VP post at Hewlett-Packard on May 5 after leaving his job as chief of EMC Corporation's storage group. Donatelli, who saw his EMC pay cut by 10 percent in March, takes over for retiring Scott Stallard, an HP veteran of 24 years who oversaw the company's blade server success.

EMC's CEO cut pay for five top executives including Donatelli. HP's CEO Mark Hurd said “I am pleased to have David join the HP leadership team. He will be a key contributor in driving growth and innovation for HP.” Donatelli, who saw a pay cut from $700,000 to $630,000 at EMC, has filed a lawsuit against his former employer to protect his move to HP. EMC filed a suit against him that charges he violates a non-compete clause through his jump to HP.

Donatelli comes to lead HP's server business with significant experience in storage, but little current work in the server segment. The HP enterprise server unit, which develops and sells HP 3000 migration targets such the Integrity server line, posted the largest drop in revenues in the latest quarterly report. Donatelli heads to HP with detailed knowledge of EMC's new server-network-storage alliance with Cisco.

Pay cuts will also commence for HP's top executives this month. The company's numbers in hardware and enterprise products fell sharply in Q1 of 2009. HP reported sales declines in the ESS operations of Business Critical Systems servers (including Integrity systems) of 17 percent, along with a 22 percent drop in Industry Standard Servers (including ProLiants).

HP is hiring a executive to oversee its new BladeSystem Matrix, a combination of servers, storage and networking designed to create virtual computing resources. The blade-based virtual datacenters promise a new level of flexibility in deploying computing power across enterprises.

Donatelli worked at EMC from the company's earliest days, leaving the vendor after 22 years. Stallard announced his retirement last year and leaves HP after 34 years of service. Donatelli reports to HP's executive VP for all computer-related sales Ann Livermore.

“David is an experienced business executive with a track record of driving growth and innovation,” said Livermore. “I look forward to what the team will accomplish under his strategic leadership."